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Tax cuts brought LA real economic benefits

As we have come to expect from the left, caricature and oversimplification make for lots of red meat thrown to the unthinking masses, but it’s a lousy method for valid understanding of public policy ramifications.

Just such as example comes from a leftist opinion writer named David Leonhardt on the pages of the New York Times. In a recent piece, he attempted to use Louisiana’s income tax cutting during the former Gov. Bobby Jindal years as an indictment against that option, alleging that promises that “tax cuts would lead to an economic boom” didn’t pan out and produced the state’s budgetary difficulty.

Such a view has both theoretical and empirical difficulties. Liberals almost always misunderstand, if not intentionally misstate, the role that tax cuts have on public finance. What now popularly is called the Laffer Curve argues that, past a certain point, punitive tax collections discourage economic growth by providing incentives for tax avoidance and stunted economic growth. Especially when dealing with such low rates relatively speaking – Louisiana’s top individual rate of 6 percent is about 15 percent of the highest federal rate – chances are state rates don’t make it to the right side of the curve; i.e. where they lower revenue by going higher.


Amendment makes overspending more likely

It’s a blast from the past under one proposal scheduled for hearing this 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, concerning the content of legislative sessions.

The current 1974 Constitution, when originally implemented, inverted a two-decade interval of biennial fiscal-only sessions offset by sessions of general subject matter by having alternating general and non-fiscal sessions. However, a 1993 amendment restored matters to that of two decades prior, putting in odd-numbered years a shorter fiscal-only session. In 2002, commencing in 2004, the present calendar came forth with passage of an amendment to switch up years and allow each legislator to file five general bills not prefiled and an unlimited number of special and local bills during the odd-numbered year fiscal sessions.

This strategy supposedly would allow legislators to concentrate more fully on fiscal matters. The timing of having fiscal-only sessions – which really barely restricted lawmakers as long as they hustled to prefile – originally during even-numbered years would allow newly-elected legislators to move quickly on priorities they had stressed in their campaigns.


Edwards speech serves up familiar pablum

More the second act of the speech he gave to kick off the special session recently concluded early, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards2018 State of the State address just can’t let go, a broken record just sounding along.

Edwards’ remarks contained a rehash of several items allegedly reflecting his administration’s accomplishments, selectively chosen to claim credit for the work of his predecessor, that deflected from a fair-to-middling — at best — state economic performance, or designed to gloss over warts of his policies, warning about the supposed consequences if not following his policy prescriptions. He also defended recent criminal justice reforms he championed under fire that put the cart before the horse — reducing incarceration rates to save money without having place the infrastructure to ensure minimal consequences from criminals’ early releases.

Given the divisiveness that his policies have introduced, Edwards understandably went after low-hanging fruit, such as laws against hazing, expanded bureaucracy to study various public policies, and occupational licensing reform. Additionally, he voiced perennial agenda items of his: weakening educational accountability, a job-killing minimum wage hike, and putting into law intrusive government based on the myth that unequal pay unadjusted for other factors exists between men and women.